Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
tools prepared for the build out

A few months ago I attended a neighborhood meetup and there was one overheard discussion that really caught my ear. This individual was telling another about how they discovered they had a family of raccoons living in their attic. I was quite confused hearing this because it seemed like something you could clearly hear or protect against.

I then discovered that same conversation on Next Door and had the oddest idea. I wanted to wire up a camera in my attic for the sole purpose of monitoring something that will never happen.

So I started researching Ubiquiti cameras that could support some intense heat. While I found the operating temperatures for all of them - I went towards Reddit to give me some real life feedback on them. It turns out the G3 Flex ($79) was the way to go - plenty of great feedback of running them in hot ambient weather.

So I measured out some CAT6 and got my fishing tools in order. I got very lucky with this fishing attempt and I got my line fished from the attic into my office in one go. It was more difficult running the line down that molded cover into the switch then going through the wall.

Office cable mess.

Now this plate needs to be redone, but that's for another time. I remember when I ran my two access points I didn't have any of the pieces left to mount an Ethernet port on this 4 port adapter. So what ended up happening was just running the wire through the wall all the way to the switch without a break.

So I did that again shoving an additional wire through one of those holes. I am thinking if I gain another cable I'll swap for one of those mesh multiple cable ports and a two port adapter for the already spliced ones.

a messy mounted 10U rack w/ switch

Once that was done - a new cable was lodged into the POE section of the switch and it was time to return to the attic.

Building an Ethernet cable in the intense heat of an attic is no joke. The pure sweat building up as I sat up there building a B cable was rough. I was very grateful when I plugged in the cable tester and watched the numbers 1 through 8 work perfectly.

For those wondering how I could confirm the cable was working with only seeing one side of it - I cheated. I joined a Discord call and live-streamed the other end of the lights, then one quick call to a friend to relay the numbers out loud and I could confirm this was all wired in the proper way.

So now it was time to mount this camera on the back wall of the attic so it could see all and hope that UniFi OS would detect it. The mount bracket for the G3 Flex was just two little screws that I could screw in without any drill. Since the camera weights next to nothing - this makes sense that I didn't need a fancy mounting setup.

G3 Flex shows up.

It had some day zero updates to do, but once that was done - it showed up with a nice overview of my attic.

Protect module of UniFi OS

So all of that effort and now I have a direct feed to review my attic and the enormous air condition unit that it monitors.

Attic camera online.

I'm not sure how to explain this to the next person that visits my attic. My guess that might be some air conditioning guy soon as that thing pictured above was manufactured in 1996 and bound to fail with this upcoming summer heat.

Until then I'll hope that the intense ambient heat doesn't break the camera.

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